Performing backups of a file share and getting a consistent point-in-time copy can be a huge challenge for engineers. Why? When a system remains in active use, the data in that system is likely to change during the backup operation, creating copies that are outdated from the start of the backup. This can lead to false positives during software testing and an unnecessary loss of developer time to debug these issues. Most enterprise systems can’t tolerate the downtime required to perform a cold backup, so it’s necessary to keep the system in use during the process. At this point, the backup just goes in circles.


Enter the solution: NetApp® Cloud Volumes Service and Azure NetApp Files. These cloud-native services provide on-demand file systems in Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud that can be created instantly and scaled to many terabytes. The advanced NetApp Snapshot™ and cloning capabilities of Cloud Volumes Service remove the complexity of provisioning data for DevOps test environments. From a Snapshot copy, you can instantly create a point-in-time, space-efficient copy of a database of any size.


Cloud Volumes Service and Azure NetApp Files allow users to create highly storage-efficient Snapshot copies of any volume. These copies initially consume a negligible amount of space, because  the volume and the copy share the same blocks. This also means that they can be created instantly, regardless of the source data size — which means no more inconsistent backups creating false positives during testing.


To ensure that the data in the Snapshot copy stays consistent with the point in time at which it was created, Cloud Volumes Service and Azure NetApp Files redirect updates made to blocks held in the copy over to new blocks. This redirect-on-write mechanism means that the copy  stays space efficient. And with NetApp cloning technology, Cloud Volumes Service and Azure NetApp Files provide a writeable copy of the data stored in the Snapshot copy. Now your data backs up instantly, ensuring that software testing runs smoothly, and you can focus on your data, not on backing it up.

About Cloud Volumes Service and Azure NetApp Files

Cloud Volumes Service and Azure NetApp Files provide rich features that help you to better manage your data with consistently high performance. Register now to access cloud-native file services on the cloud platform of your choice: Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud. Get started and learn how easy it is to manage, protect, and restore your file data.

Jeff Whitaker

Jeff Whitaker is the Sr. Manager, Cloud Solutions Marketing at NetApp. When he is not carving out new horizons in product marketing for Azure NetApp Files for Microsoft Azure, he can be found racing motocross up and down the west coast. You can reach Jeff directly at

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